Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini Review
Winter is almost here, so if you’re driving around with a car battery that’s a few years old, having a backup jump starter isn’t a bad idea. The Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini is a great, portable solution for smaller cars.
The Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini comes in a hard carrying case that houses the main power bank, the jump cables, a DC car charger and an AC wall charger. While the entire kit might be too large to fit in your glovebox, it should work fine in the trunk of your car.
The power bank itself has a hard plastic shell that can withstand some bumps and small drops. The recessed power button is large and sits on the top of the unit beside 4 blue LED indicators that indicates the charge level of the unit. The charging ports and the jumper cable connections are all protected by rubber flaps which help keep out dust and debris when not in use, but please note that this unit is not waterproof.
Important! This jump starter only supports engine up to 2.8L. Make sure you check the vehicle you are jump starting to make sure that the engine is not larger than 2.8L. I made this mistake jump starting a friend’s Mustang with a similar unit from another manufacturer and it ended up damaging the jump starter.
Obviously, the biggest feature is the fact that this portable power bank can start your car! One of Anker’s previous generation of portable jump starters saved my hide after a concert when I ran the car’s radio too long (waiting for the exit lines to die down) and my car then would not start. My friends were upset as they wanted to get home, but once I pulled the jump starter out of my trunk, we were on the road in no time.
Shortly after receiving the new Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini from Anker to review, I noticed a co-worker in the parking lot and that familiar “clicking sound of failure” as she tried to start her car. I walked over and offered to test out this unit and she happily agreed. I simply pulled out the PowerCore, connected the jumper cables to her car’s battery, connected them to the PowerCore and she was able to start her car up quickly. She was so thankful and she even made me a batch of cookies the next day! Not bad for the minimal effort on my part!
Again, I must stress that this unit is intended for smaller cars with a 2.8L or smaller engine. Many larger vehicles, such as trucks, may exceed this and you will not be able to jump them (and you risk damaging the unit).
In addition to jump starting your car, the Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini feature two Power IQ USB ports so you can charge your smartphones and tablets. The 9000mAh capacity of this unit would provide about 3 full charges to most smartphones and almost 1 full charge to most tablets. With the two ports, you can split the 5V 3A output to charge a tablet and a smartphone at the same time (two tablets would likely require 5V 4A, so they would charge a little slower).
There is also a flashlight located on the back of the unit. To activate it, hold down the power button until it powers up. You can then press the power button to toggle between steady light and flashing mode. This is handy for looking under the hood of you car at night or for alerting other drivers that you’re stranded on the side of the road.
The unit comes with two proprietary chargers (one for the car and one for home), so make sure not to lose them as it may be difficult to find replacements.
- Don’t leave this in your trunk and forget about it. Anker recommends using the power bank and recharging it at least once every 4 months to keep the electrons moving.
- Anker also recommends avoiding extreme temperatures, but the manual doesn’t state what exactly qualifies as “extreme”. If your local forecast calls for a heat wave or an abnormal cold spell, you may want to consider bringing the PowerCore inside with you instead of leaving it in the car.
- Size: 6.1 x 3.3 x 1.2 in
- Input: 15V 1A
- USB Output: 5V 3A
- Starting Current: 200 A
- Peak Current: 400 A
The Anker PowerCore Jump Starter Mini is ideal for smaller cars (up to 2.8L). It is very easy to use, so you can jump your car yourself without needing to ask strangers for help. It can also charge phones and tablets using the built-in USB ports. Since it is a battery, you may not be able to leave it in your car during extreme temperature conditions.
- Everything you need is stored together in one kit
- You can jump start your car by yourself
- Two Power IQ USB ports for charging other devices
- Built-in flash light
- Cannot jump large vehicles (engines larger than 2.8L)